The Exhibition

Thirty enormous 17th century group portraits from the collections of the Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum are brought together for the first time and permanently on display in the Hermitage Amsterdam. These "brothers and sisters" of the Night Watch are unique in the world and rarely seen due to their size. They show us regents, archers and merchants from all different classes, backgrounds and religions, standing shoulder to shoulder like brothers. 

Together they illustrate the story of the collective citizenship that is so typical of the Netherlands. They serve as a reflection for us, because the relationship they had back then forms the basis for our modern-day standards and social interaction. Would you like to know why the Dutch attach so much importance to freedom and equality? The answer is hanging - in life-size form - on the walls of the Hermitage Amsterdam.

Portrait Gallery of the Seventeenth Century is a collaboration between the Amsterdam Museum, the Hermitage Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum.

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age, with essays by Maarten Hell, Emma Los and Norbert Middelkoop, 128 pages, paperback (ISBN 978-90-78653-53-0), € 19.95 (Dutch & English). You can order via email:

Visitors of the Portrait Gallery of the Seventeenth Century exhibition can have themselves immortalized while taking part in the unique Dutch way of deliberation. You can see the result on our Flickr page.